Thank you to everyone who took part in our live Q&A session with Captain Steve Richings on Wednesday 27th June 2018. We hope that the following summary of the questions asked provides a useful insight into life as a First Officer at BA CityFlyer and the First Officer Placement Programme.
Question and Answer Summary
Q: Can you tell us about a typical day in the life of a BA CityFlyer Pilot?
A: One of the big attractions of BA CityFlyer is that no two days are the same. Tours range from single nights away up to 5 days in a destination in Europe. There are also many day trips available to bid for.
Q: What does BA CityFlyer look for when hiring their future Pilots?
A: BA CityFlyer looks for dynamic people who are looking forward to a challenge of early responsibility in a quickly growing airline.
Q: I was wondering if you could tell me about the specifics of what the ‘Fleet Technical Executive’ role involves?
A: The Fleet Technical Executive role is very diverse. To give you an example, previous holders of the post have been representing the company at the Embraer factory in Brazil. It is a great way to get involved with many elements of an airline before progressing onto your successful career as a commercial airline pilot.
Q: If you are yet to start CPL IR and MCC JOC and don’t expect to finish these by the end of 2019, when do you recommend applying to BA CityFlyer for this opportunity or would this not be available for cadets finishing late 2019?
A: These are operationally critical roles. BA CityFlyer is on their 3rd iteration and we fully expect the Placement Programme to open again next year due to its success.
Q: Is this programme only open for Kura graduates?
A: Applications are invited from CPL IR holders across all schools and EASA jurisdictions who have trained on a modular route of training.
Q: Does BA CityFlyer look for specific results in a person’s pilot training theory and practical exams [for the First Officer Placement Programme]?
A: No. BA CityFlyer is looking for the best person for the role.
Q: How does the [First Officer Placement Programme] work? Do you start straight away with type rating and how is this paid for? Is it self-funded by the trainee?
A: The successful candidate will spend 12 months in the Fleet Technical area of the business and then 12 months in Navigation, Weights and Performance Officer role; and then move on to a First Officer position after completing the BESTPILOT™ programme. All training is fully funded by BA CityFlyer and the candidate is bonded for two years.
Q: What is the work schedule like as a First Officer for BA CityFlyer?
A: The work schedule is completely variable from day trips to 5 days.
Q: Is the [First Officer Placement] program only open for modular trained pilots?
A: The Placement Programme invites applications from CPL IR holders across all schools and EASA jurisdictions who have trained on a modular route of training.
Q: Does having an aviation Hons. degree give an extra advantage over other candidates?
A: Additional qualifications are not specifically relevant, we are looking for the right candidate for the role.
Q: How does BACF plan to offset the fact the potential candidates will be two years out of currency when beginning their type rating training? Has this had a positive/negative effect on candidates so far?
A: The roles on offer are operationally critical and as such do not lend themselves to engaging individuals on a short-term basis; there is simply too much to learn and fulfil as employees of the company. To answer your question on currency the BESTPILOT™ programme serves to reset the currency of the individual; as experienced by Matthew Senior who recently transitioned with ease into the role of FO and through subsequent training.
Q: What has been the reaction of the other BA CityFlyer First Officers to the introduction of this programme?
A: All Placement Programme pilots have been extremely well received by their colleagues in BA CityFlyer. The first Placement Pilot has recently passed their line check and is now fully integrated into BA CityFlyer operations.